Campylobacter causes an estimated 1.3 million illnesses each year in the United States.Most illnesses likely occur due to eating raw or undercooked poultry, or to eating something that touched it. Some are due to contaminated water, contact with animals, or drinking raw (unpasteurized) milk.Although people with Campylobacter infection usually recover on their own, some need medical treatment.
Cat-scratch disease (CSD) is a bacterial infection spread by cats. The disease spreads when an infected cat licks a person’s open wound, or bites or scratches a person hard enough to break the surface of the skin. About three to 14 days after the skin is broken, a mild infection can occur at the site of the scratch or bite. The infected area may appear swollen and red with round, raised lesions and can have pus. The infection can feel warm or painful. A person with CSD may also have a fever, headache, poor appetite, and exhaustion. Later, the person’s lymph nodes closest to the original scratch or bite can become swollen, tender, or painful.Wash cat bites and scratches well with soap and running water. Do not allow cats to lick your wounds. Contact your doctor if you develop any symptoms of cat-scratch disease or infection.CSD is caused by a bacterium called Bartonella henselae. About 40% of cats carry B. henselae at some time in their lives, although most cats with this infection show NO signs of illness. Kittens younger than 1 year are more likely to have B. henselae infection and to spread the germ to people. Kittens are also more likely to scratch and bite while they play and learn how to attack prey.
Cheyletiellosis is a mild, short-term skin inflammation caused by mites that feed on skin cells. Cheyletiella is spread through contact with infested animals. Pets such as rabbits and adult cats may not show signs of infestation. However, affected kittens may have patches of scaly skin with dandruff.The most common symptoms of cheyletiellosis in people include itching, redness, and raised bumps on areas of the skin that touched the infested animal. Cheyletiellosis in people generally resolves on its own.(Note: CDC does not currently maintain information about cheyletiellosis; the link goes to a non-CDC resource.)
Cryptosporidium is a microscopic parasite that causes the diarrheal disease cryptosporidiosis. Both the parasite and the disease are commonly known as 'Crypto' There are many species of Cryptosporidium that infect animals, some of which also infect humans. The parasite is protected by an outer shell that allows it to survive outside the body for long periods of time and makes it very tolerant to chlorine disinfection.While this parasite can be spread in several different ways, water (drinking water and recreational water) is the most common way to spread the parasite. Cryptosporidium is a leading cause of waterborne disease among humans in the United States.GE
Echinococcosis is a parasitic disease caused by infection with tiny tapeworms of the genus Echinocococcus. Echinococcosis is classified as either cystic echinococcosis or alveolar echinococcosis.Cystic echinocccosis (CE), also known as hydatid disease, is caused by infection with the larval stage of Echinococcus granulosus, a ~2-7 millimeter long tapeworm found in dogs (definitive host) and sheep, cattle, goats, and pigs (intermediate hosts). Although most infections in humans are asymptomatic, CE causes harmful, slowly enlarging cysts in the liver, lungs, and other organs that often grow unnoticed and neglected for years.Alveolar echinococcosis (AE) disease is caused by infection with the larval stage of Echinococcus multilocularis, a ~1-4 millimeter long tapeworm found in foxes, coyotes, and dogs (definitive hosts). Small rodents are intermediate hosts for E. multilocularis. Although cases of AE in animals in endemic areas are relatively common, human cases are rare. AE poses a much greater health threat to people than CE, causing parasitic tumors that can form in the liver, lungs, brain, and other organs. If left untreated, AE can be fatal.
Giardia is a microscopic parasite that causes the diarrheal illness known as giardiasis. Giardia (also known as Giardia intestinalis, Giardia lamblia, or Giardia duodenalis) is found on surfaces or in soil, food, or water that has been contaminated with feces (poop) from infected humans or animals.Giardia is protected by an outer shell that allows it to survive outside the body for long periods of time and makes it tolerant to chlorine disinfection. While the parasite can be spread in different ways, water (drinking water and recreational water) is the most common mode of transmission.
Zoonotic hookworms are hookworms that live in animals but can be transmitted to humans. Dogs and cats can become infected with several hookworm species, including Ancylostoma brazilense, A. caninum, A. ceylanicum, and Uncinaria stenocephala. The eggs of these parasites are shed in the feces of infected animals and can end up in the environment, contaminating the ground where the animal defecated. People become infected when the zoonotic hookworm larvae penetrate unprotected skin, especially when walking barefoot or sitting on contaminated soil or sand. This can result in a disease called cutaneous larva migrans (CLM), when the larvae migrate through the skin and cause inflammation.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a bacteria that is resistant to many antibiotics. Staph and MRSA can cause a variety of problems ranging from are skin infections and sepsis to pneumonia to bloodstream infections.The resources on this page are aimed at preventing MRSA infections.
Pasteurella multocida is a small, gram-negative, nonmotile, non–spore-forming coccobacillus with bipolar staining features. The bacteria typically appear as single bacilli on Gram stain; however, pairs and short chains can also be seen. P multocida often exists as a commensal in the upper respiratory tracts of many livestock, poultry, and domestic pet species, especially cats and dogs. In fact, Pasteurella species are some of the most prevalent commensal bacteria present in domestic and wild animals worldwide. P multocida infection in humans is often associated with an animal bite, scratch, or lick, but infection without epidemiologic evidence of animal contact may occur.
Plague is a disease that affects humans and other mammals. It is caused by the bacterium, Yersinia pestis. Humans usually get plague after being bitten by a rodent flea that is carrying the plague bacterium or by handling an animal infected with plague. Plague is infamous for killing millions of people in Europe during the Middle Ages. Today, modern antibiotics are effective in treating plague. Without prompt treatment, the disease can cause serious illness or death. Presently, human plague infections continue to occur in the western United States, but significantly more cases occur in parts of Africa and Asia.
Rabies is a preventable viral disease of mammals most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. The vast majority of rabies cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) each year occur in wild animals like raccoons, skunks, bats, and foxes.The rabies virus infects the central nervous system, ultimately causing disease in the brain and death. The early symptoms of rabies in people are similar to that of many other illnesses, including fever, headache, and general weakness or discomfort. As the disease progresses, more specific symptoms appear and may include insomnia, anxiety, confusion, slight or partial paralysis, excitation, hallucinations, agitation, hypersalivation (increase in saliva), difficulty swallowing, and hydrophobia (fear of water). Death usually occurs within days of the onset of these symptoms.
Ringworm is a skin and scalp disease caused by fungi. It gets its name from the characteristic ring-like rash on the skin. The disease is spread by touching an infected person or animal. It can also be spread by touching objects or surfaces that had contact with the infection. If infected, people often begin itching four to fourteen days after contact. The rash may be scaly, reddened, and circular. Ringworm on the scalp usually makes a bald patch of scaly skin.
Toxocariasis is the parasitic disease caused by the larvae of two species of Toxocara roundworms: Toxocara canis from dogs and, less commonly, Toxocara cati from cats. Toxocariasis is considered one of the Neglected Parasitic Infections, a group of five parasitic diseases that have been targeted by CDC for public health action.
Salmonella is a group of bacteria that can live in the intestinal tract of many different animals. Salmonellosis (sal-mohn-el-OH-sis) is a bacterial disease caused by Salmonella.Although Salmonella is most often spread when a person eats contaminated food, the bacteria also can be passed between people and animals. Many different animals and pets can carry these germs. Animals known to commonly spread Salmonella to humans includeReptiles (turtles, lizards, and snakes)Amphibians (frogs and toads)Poultry (chicks, chickens, ducklings, ducks,geese, and turkeys)Other birds (parakeets,parrots, and wild birds)Rodents (mice,rats, hamsters, and guinea pigs)Other small mammals(hedgehogs)Farm animals (goats, calves, cows, sheep,and pigs)DogsCatsHorses
Sporotrichosis (also known as “rose gardener’s disease”) is a rare infection caused by a fungus called Sporothrix. This fungus lives throughout the world in soil and on plant matter such as sphagnum moss, rose bushes, and hay.1,2 People get sporotrichosis by coming in contact with the fungal spores in the environment. Cutaneous (skin) infection is the most common form of the infection. It occurs when the fungus enters the skin through a small cut or scrape, usually after handling contaminated plant matter. Some cases of sporotrichosis have been associated with scratches or bites from animals, particularly cats.Types of sporotrichosisCutaneous (skin)sporotrichosis is the most common form of theinfection. It usually occurs on a person’s hand orthe arm after they have been handlingcontaminated plant matter.Pulmonary (lung) sporotrichosis is very rare but can happen after someone breathes in fungal spores from the environment. Disseminatedsporotrichosis occurs when the infectionspreads to another part of the body, such as the bones, joints, or the central nervous system. This form of sporotrichosis usually affects people who have weakened immune systems, such as people with HIV infection (see Risk & Prevention).